CDS General Bipin Rawat, wife, 11 others killed in chopper crash, says IAF; tributes, condolences pour in
The CDS was going to the Defence Services Staff College, Wellington, to give a lecture when the military chopper crashed near Coonoor in Tamil Nadu
India's first Chief of Defence Staff, Gen Bipin Rawat, his wife, and 11 others were killed when their IAF Mi-17 helicopter crashed near Coonoor in Tamil Nadu's Nilgiris district on Wednesday, the IAF announced.
"With deep regret, it has now been ascertained that Gen Bipin Rawat, Mrs Madhulika Rawat and 11 other persons on board have died in the unfortunate accident," the Indian Air Force said in a tweet.
The CDS was going to the Defence Services Staff College, Wellington, to give a lecture.
Prime Minister Modi conveyed his condolences in a tweet.
Home Minister Amit Shah extended condolences on the demise of CDS General Bipin Rawat and 12 others in IAF chopper crash "CDS was one of the bravest soldiers, who has served the motherland with utmost devotion. His exemplary contributions & commitment can't be put into words," he said.
Defence Ministry Rajnath Singh in a tweet expressed his grief on the demise of the CDS and other officials and wished for speedy recovery of Capt Varun Singh who has been admitted in the military hospital, Wellington:
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi too conveyed his condolences
The mortal remains of Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat and his wife along with other Armed Forces personnel killed in the chopper crash are expected to arrive in Delhi by evening tomorrow.
The chopper, with a total of 14 persons on board, took off from the Sulur air base near Coimbatore and was on its way to Coonoor. When the chopper was a few minutes away from landing, it, as per eyewitnesses, hit a tree, crashed, and caught fire, resulting in several casualties.
With IANS inputs